Contributor post by Anna of Unexpected Treasure
Please join us in welcoming Candy Frizzell of True Earth Designs our featured member!
Tell us about yourself.
I am a wife of almost 40 years and a mother of 2 grown children with 1 beautiful grandchild. I live near Nashville, TN and am closing in on 60. I have always loved arts and crafts, so when I started having some health issues, I started a hobby. First, it began with making things from clay, then that led to my love of gemstones. I started making jewelry, which has evolved and grown over these past 5 years. I love designing and creating classic looks with beautiful, opaque gemstones. I also like glass and wood for fun boho and tribal designs.
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
May 2014 – I needed a place to sell my pieces. Like many hobbyist, we collect too many things. Etsy is a great online site and easy to set up and use. My shop is still a hobby, which I can enjoy and Etsy makes that possible.
Tell us a bit about your products.
My Classic Gallery Line is made from semi-precious, opaque gemstone jewelry. I am always looking for unique, new stones. When I can find them, I like to use high grade gemstones, like Malachite and Rhodochrosite, however it can be hard and time consuming at times to search them out. You have to be knowledgeable and always aware of imitations. My other jewelry lines are boho chic glass beads and tribal style in earth tones and colorful wood. Gemstones are cool to the touch, have a nice weight to them and each one is like God’s fingerprints made permanently in nature.
What inspires your work?
My love for nature and color. Gemstones especially have both, along with character in the form of line and circle striations. It is the contrasts in color and in the natural designs of the stone, put together with unique cuts and faceting which can make the piece sparkle.
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
Working toward my first holiday season and then a new spring jewelry line of pearls and shell.
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
First, you have to love what you do and make. You also need to find a niche, something a little different than the next person. I believe I can stand out with my gemstone jewelry because of my use of beautiful, opaque gemstones, trying to use the highest grade I can find, as well as the quality of findings (sterling silver). I put extra work into each piece to insure they are well made and are a great investment. I describe this process in all of my descriptions of my jewelry, so that the customer knows what they are getting. Lets not forget, great customer service.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
All over the house! Mostly done at my table, where I take my pictures and my organizational area of shelves and bins.
Where can people find out more about you and your business?
Why do you believe people should buy handmade, such as your products, vs. buying mass-produced products from box stores?
Handmade are usually one of a kind pieces, rather than thousands of the same look. Handmade has usually better quality, because you (the designer, creator and seller) are the person they will do business with and your reputation is on the line, so you do the best job you can. Whereas the person who is making a mass-produced piece may not take as great of care when making the pieces and they can tend to use cheaper products.
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known beforehand?
Over time how to make my jewelry better in the craftsmanship and selection of gemstones, watching out for those imitations that are out there. Having been burned a few times with glass – thought I was buying Quartz, man-made Malachite instead of the real gemstone and dyed Magnesite instead of true Turquoise.
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
Be patient, enjoy the journey, make what you love and work hard without stressing to the point of burnout. Also, be realistic, if you want it to become a full time business, it may take years. I prefer a hobby and Etsy gives both the opportunity.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
This is my hobby, but I also enjoy my new grandbaby, spending time with family and the occasional trip to the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee, beautiful in the fall.
What is your favourite quote?
“For he (Abraham) was looking forward to the city with foundations (gemstones, Rev. 21) whose architect and builder is God.” Hebrews 11 – God loved using beautiful gemstones.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Remember those who are sick or disabled, as well as their caregivers. Find ways to help or encourage.
If you would like to be featured, please go to the CIJ Etsy Forum and fill out the questionnaire. Please note you must be a member of the CIJ Etsy team to be featured.